arm's length


: a distance discouraging personal contact or familiarity
kept former friends at arm's length now
: the condition or fact that the parties to a transaction are independent and on an equal footing
ˈärmz-ˈleŋ(k)th How to pronounce arm's length (audio)

Examples of arm's length in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Watching that from arm's length is hardly riveting., 10 Nov. 2023 Originally made for Netflix, that Daredevil has since overlapped with the official MCU (with Charlie Cox's Matt Murdock popping up in Spider-Man: No Way Home and She-Hulk) but exists at an arm's length from the cosmic adventures of the Avengers or the Guardians of the Galaxy., 6 Nov. 2023 Sit about an arm's length from the computer screen. Kelyn Soong The Washington Post, Arkansas Online, 27 Aug. 2023 Cut the paper into strips of about 8 inches wide and an arm's length long. New York Times, 27 July 2023 But that’s fine for a car, because an arm's length is long enough to reach a charger buried beneath the pavement. IEEE Spectrum, 3 Mar. 2023 The American Pyrotechnics Association recommends to never light or hold more than one sparkler at a time, and to keep them at an arm's length away from the body. Emily Deletter, USA TODAY, 30 June 2023 Kentucky kept their Buckeye counterparts at arm's length the rest of the way, never letting the lead get smaller than nine. Brendan Connelly, The Enquirer, 9 Apr. 2023 True, the power transfer spans just an arm's length rather than kilometers, as Nicola Tesla envisioned a century ago in his pioneering work. IEEE Spectrum, 3 Mar. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'arm's length.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1655, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of arm's length was in 1655

Dictionary Entries Near arm's length

Cite this Entry

“Arm's length.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2024.

Legal Definition

arm's length

: the condition of the parties to a business deal in which each has independent interests and one does not dominate the other
often used in the phrase at arm's length
a contract made at arm's length
arm's-length adjective
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